Become a better you!

Become a better you! Become a District Leader next year! “District Leadership gave me confidence” is what I answered when I was recently asked what becoming a District leader did to me. Stepping up to become Area Director, Division Director and later a member of the District Trio offered me plenty of opportunities to learn … Read more

Making your Area Directorship a High Performance Leadership experience

From Alan McMahon, Area 61 Governor 2014-15

HPL Alan McMahon The ‘Best’ Plan

I know that you won’t believe this, or maybe you will, but when I was in my teens and early twenties I was young enough and arrogant enough to really think that I knew everything, I knew the best way of doing things, it had to be Plan A or in other words it had to be Plan Alan . It was all about meeeeeeeee!

A few hard knocks from life, and entering the world of real work, and I soon came to learn that to achieve your goals you must instead always go with Plan B, which was of course the BEST plan.  And that BEST plan was very often found and made to happen when other people were involved, in other words when you had have a team working at and making the plan a reality.

Knowing that I decided that when it came to being the Area 61 Governor last Toastmaster year it was not going to be based on a single person …. The vision was that the Governorship was to be a team effort.  The hope was that this approach would continue in the year ahead with the renamed role of Area Director.

How did we start?

The first step of in this was to be have two Area Governors which happened with, Steve Brewer, who had the formal title Assistant Area Governor but who was in reality a joint Governor.

The vision continued with the idea that the Area Governorship was to be a Team of people and much bigger than the two of us. We wanted huge support and input from as many of the Area members as we could get.

The previous year’s Governor Coralie Francis joined the Area Team ( Council), and along with her many of the Club Officers and Members from our five Area clubs including Gill Orstein, David Phelops, Mike Freedman, Peter Jacques, Indra Sikdar, Rob Edlin, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc ……joined the Team.

All of this focus on teamwork was very deliberate and gelled exactly with making my Area Governorship year the focus of Toastmasters High Performance Leadership Program (HPL).

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High Performance Leadership – Challenging yourself to make a difference

From Steve Brewer, Area 61 Director 2015/16

My time as assistant Area Governor and Area 61 Director has encouraged me to think wider and deeper about the Toastmasters education program: what it means for me and others as even I move closer to the DTM award.

My biggest fear was that my Toastmasters journey would become a succession of tick boxes – different speeches that I gained with minimal inconvenience as the memories of the fear and excitement felt in my icebreaker speech melted away.

I asked myself whether I was staying at Toastmasters only to be a better Toastmaster or did I have an opportunity to do something different? Could I use my communication skills to make a change and makes things better? Fortunately there was a hidden gem in the long grass of the requirements for the Advanced Leader Silver award.

This gem was the High Performance Leadership Project (HPL). This can be done and banked at whatever stage of the TM program you are at. The HPL has reignited my aims of improving with every speech and continually learning from the journey.

What is High Performance Leadership (HPL)?

It is an “action-learning” program that will help you to develop your leadership skills. It uses a 3 part learning process – study, action, and feedback.

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High Performance Leadership – HPL Community Case Study

Overview of  Steve Brewer’s HPL Community Case Study

Grassroots football is typically a term used to describe amateur football. Junior clubs that support children of all abilities tend to be described as grassroots football clubs, rather than professional football clubs. In order to compete in affiliated leagues clubs need to be affiliated to the Football Association or FA through their local county FA.

Many clubs are run primarily by overstretched coaches who are doing all the admin roles as well. Communication is typically poor leaving a less than optimal experience for many of the stakeholders. These stakeholders include the coaches, parents and not least the young players, the very people we are hoping to inspire.

A key reason for doing my HPL project was to make a difference and improve on the status quo. My project was to take a club that was effectively failing and transform it into a one that regained it FA Standard Charter Status.

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